Top Ten Tuesday

10 Books I'm Reading This Summer (2019)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

It's officially summer and we are officially halfway through the year. Time is going so fast. Sometimes I feel like I'll never finish all the books I want to. Sigh. They say a TBR is neverending. They would be right. Though I picked out some reads that I will most definitely get to this summer.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is: Top 10 Books I'm Reading This Summer (2019):


Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston: A hate to love romance between the First Son of the US and the Prince of Wales. Uh, yes, please. This sounds like it's going to be so adorable and great. It's also been getting so much amazing buzz. I can't wait to read it!

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo: Summer is for the romance books! This one features an unlikely pair: a paparazzi gets together with a kpop star. I've been seeing a lot of negative reviews for this which makes me a bit hesitant but I'm hoping Somewhere Only We Know delivers.

Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins: The one cliche I can't stay away from is where the prince falls for the average girl. Plus, the publishers recently changed to this new cover and it's the cutest thing ever. This one is screaming summer vibes to me.


Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: Maureen Johnson is an auto-buy author for me but for some reason, I still haven't read Truly Devious. Let's change that this summer, shall we? There's anxiety rep with a boarding school setting and a gripping mystery.

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston: It's the companion to Geekerella, which stole my heart last year. I finally have a copy of this so the first chance I get, I hope to devour this. Surprisingly, I haven't heard much about this. It follows an actress who is so done with her movie, Star Field, that she has her doppelganger fan take her place her at meet-and-greets and signings. It sounds like a fun read!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: Another book that I don't know why it's taken me this long to read. It seems everyone loves this so I hope I will too.



Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan: I'm finally going to finish the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. Kevin Kwan knows how to bring all the crazy drama to the page and as much as it's entertaining, it's over-the-top and satirical as well. It'll be interesting to see how he concludes the series.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne: Here's another hate to love romance, but this time in an office. I don't read a lot of adult contemporary romance so this genre is pretty new to me, but I'm hoping to fall in love with this one.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang: I read The Kiss Quotient a few months ago and loved it. The Bride Test is the companion novel. There have been mixed reviews on this but hopefully, this will be as cute as the first.


Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo: I'm going to try to make progress on the Grishaverse this summer. I read the first book a few months ago and I've been waiting to start the next one. The time is now. Hopefully, I can even get the third done so I can read King of Scars too.

What are you reading this summer?

book tag

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag (2019)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

I've been doing this tag every year since I first found it. Check out last year's and 2017's post. It's always a blast to be able to go through all the books I've read so far in the year and discuss my favorites. As of today, I've read a total of 68 books. Let's chat about all those books:

The best book you've read so far in 2019:


A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer: I was a bit hesitant to pick this up, at first. A lot of reviewers were noting how the cover was similar to that of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and being both Beauty and the Beast retellings, I didn’t want them to be too similar. I love A Court of Thorns and Roses but I didn’t want a duplicate, and Kemmerer took the classic tale and made it her own. You can check out my full thoughts in my review but I love love loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely and can’t wait to read the sequel when it releases.

Your favorite sequel of the year:


Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen: Reign the Earth was my favorite book of last year so I was stoked to read its sequel/companion, Imprison the Sky. It wasn’t as amazing and inspiring as Reign the Earth was as it follows a whole new cast of characters. Imprison the Sky was still fantastic. If Gaughen wants to write several more in the series, I would not be opposed. 

A new release that you haven't read but really want to:


I own all three of these. As soon as they released, I was itching to read them and can you believe that I haven’t gotten to them yet. I cannot wait to read Romanov by Nadine Brandes, a magical retelling of Anastasia. And I may wait until July to read Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, which is a romance between the First Son and the Prince of Wales. Swoon! There’s also Enchantee by Gita Trelease which I know little about but that cover is so gorgeous!

Most anticipated release for second half of the year:


You know I couldn’t choose just one. There’s Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim which is being marketed as Mulan meets Project Runway. My highly anticipated sequel of the year (besides Imprison the Sky) is Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez. Sweet Black Waves, a retelling of Tristan and Isolde, was magnificent last year and I can’t wait for the sequel! Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon is a fantasy that sounds full of heart.

Your biggest disappointment:


Ugh. Keplinger used to be an autobuy author for me but after That’s Not What Happened, I’m rethinking it. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson was just not for me. And I expected something different from French Exit by Patrick DeWitt but didn’t get it.

Biggest surprise of the year:


I was about to unhaul A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Calletti but then I decided to listen it on audio and give it a try. And I loved it! I can’t believe I was about to unhaul such a beautiful work. The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe by Ally Condie was also such a surprise. I didn’t like Condie’s Matched series but decided to give her another chance with The Darkdeep, a middle grade series she writes with Brendan Reichs. And then this one released and I was so hesitant but completely blown away at the discussion of grief and revenge are in this. It was such a great novel!

Favorite new-to-you or debut author:


I read Claire Eliza Bartlett’s debut, We Rule the Night, and it was absolutely amazing! If you haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend it. There’s such a strong friendship that will be sure to blow you away. You can read my full thoughts in my review and get an inside look with the author interview.

New favorite character:


Penny from Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi: Penny reminded me a lot of myself as a freshman in college. I adored her narrative!

Felicity from The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee: For some reason, I didn’t really like Felicity in the first book but The Lady’s Guide follows her adventure. Her drive was so inspiring. Lee wrote such a fantastic role model.

Birdie from Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett: Birdie is the coolest. Her love for mystery would easily make us great friends if she were real. 

A book that made you cry:


My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

A book that made you happy:


The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo | Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau | What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Favorite book to movie adaptation:


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson -> Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House

The most beautiful book you've received/bought this year:


Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers | Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry | When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen

What are some books you need to read before the end of the year?


Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier | Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody | Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I tag all of you! Let's chat about our favorites of the year so far!

Top Ten Tuesday

10 Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Today, we are chatting about unpopular bookish opinions. I've seen a few videos on Youtube sharing bookish opinions. There's even a tag that I may do one day.


I don't know how many of these are unpopular opinions. And it was unexpectedly difficult to come up with all ten. Let me know which ones you agree or disagree with. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is: 10 Unpopular Bookish Opinions:

I adore love triangles.

love triangle hearts GIF by Visual Num Nums

Sometimes the movie is better than the book.

time travelers wife love GIF

Audiobooks are great if listened at double speed.

I cannot listen to audiobooks at normal speed. I just can’t. The narrator always speaks too slow and usually monotone. I can’t hold my focus from one sentence to the next on such a speed. So, double or even 3x speed it is.

Audiobooks are great except in the car.

For some reason, I get motion sickness when I listen to audiobooks in the car. I can listen to music. It’s just something about the steady narration that makes me dizzy.

Black matte on covers are the worst since it picks up fingerprints so easily.

I've read the entire Harry Potter series but wouldn't call any of them favorites. The sixth one is the best, though.

I think this would be different if I had started the series as they were coming out (as if I grew up as Harry grew up in the books). I discovered Harry Potter in middle school, a few months before the seventh book was releasing. And I actually read the series starting at the sixth, since that’s all my library owned. The Half Blood Prince and The Prisoner of Azkaban are the best of the series.

Deckled edges are awesome!

Binge reading series is just not for me.

  baby book story reading GIF

I can usually read two books in a row before I have to go on to something else. Unless it’s a duology, I couldn’t complete an entire series in a binge-read. I’d much rather come after a bit of a break to check in with all my favorite characters.

Eleven or more books in a series is too long.


Yes, I’m looking at you, Morganville Vampire series and House of Night books. They’re just too long. And at this point, I’m struggling to finish all the books.

I tend to wait for the hype to die down before starting the book.

If there’s a lot of hype surrounding a book, I’m going to wait for it to dissipate before diving in myself. Hype adds extra expectations because if everyone else loves this, I’m going to love this too. Here’s a few books I haven’t read (but plan to) because of the hype:


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

What are some of your unpopular bookish opinions?

book review

Serious Case of Wanderlust | Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Friday, June 07, 2019

Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 5/31/16
Pages: 321
Source: purchased

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe. Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story. But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.
Aubree has always been happy staying right at home. It has always been her sister who goes to far away places. But when Elizabeth, Bree's sister, can't make her promised engagement—being a tour guide in Europe—she comes up with a master plan. Bree must go in her stead and pretend to be Elizabeth. However, when Bree meets the boy of her dreams, can she keep her true identity to herself or will she blab at the first opportunity?

Aubree: Relatable Yet Amusing

  • Aubree is constantly ratting herself out, feeling less capable than her "almost-perfect" sister. It's completely normal to feel like the older sister can do no wrong. I don't completely understand that notion as I am the older sister in my family but that is the dynamic going on in Wanderlost. And as much as I do believe it is normal in some sister relationships, I definitely couldn't relate to it. Aubree and Elizabeth's sisterly relationship is super shaky. I can't imagine living under the same roof as a sibling my entire life and not knowing each other at all. Aubree keeps mentioning how far apart four years is between her and her sister. However, I don't think that is that far apart (my brother and I are five years apart and we are friends). In the beginning, the whole sister relationship seems so strange to me.
season 1 sisters GIF
  • As much as I can't relate to Aubree's relationship with her sister, I can definitely relate to her as a character. She's the awesome side of everyone. I found her sarcasm to be spot on. Not only is she hilarious but she's got spunk that will definitely remind you of yourself. Everything in her character is on point.
  • Elizabeth comes up with this plan. And here she is, she is supposed to intelligent and awesome—and basically the epitome of put-together. Her plan is far from foolproof. The moment she explained it to Aubree, I knew something was going to go wrong. Either I was right or I am just pessimistic like that. Or both.
  • And by wrong, I was so surprised when no one seemed to mention that Bree is committing crimes left and right. She is too young to drink in Europe. She is using her sister's passport at every ID checkpoint. This girl is going to be in trouble with the law.

Wanderlust

  • I love everything wanderlust. I have a serious case of wanderlust myself. I even have my own wanderlust bookshelf which consists of amazing adventures like Flirting in Italian, Love and Gelato, Meant to Be, and Just One Day. I was so happy when I came across this majestic book. And Wanderlost turned into everything I could have hoped for.
  • If you want to get technical, we have seen this plot before. Wanderlost and a lot of other similar books rely on cliché ridden plots to continue. And they do so because these clichés work. Yes, at times they can be super predictable but that doesn't make them any less fun. When I first picked up the book, all I could think about were the similarities it had to the movie, My Life in Ruins. The movie holds many components Wanderlost had: a bus tour through Europe, a wise old man, and a bus driver who doesn't speak much English. However, despite its similarities, I think they complement each other well (even though, I am sure that was not Malone's intention). After reading Wanderlost, be sure to watch My Life in Ruins.
  • Aubree happens to complain a lot, but considering her situation it makes perfect sense. It is what makes her so human, I suppose. However, I am incredibly glad that she does take the time to appreciate her surroundings. The tour through Europe is not totally wasted on her and we get to see Aubree fall in love with traveling.

Instalove

  • What kind of YA travel romance would it be without the romance part? It is kind of instalove-ish. What started out as flirtatious phone conversations quickly became an instalove, where instead of focusing on learning more about the other person, let's just make out all the time. The scenes they share—where they are not making out—are undeniably cute with a quick banter back and forth. It is easy to see how fast they could have fallen for each other but less than two weeks! Isn't that a bit fast?
  • Oh, my gosh, though. Sam is such a dream guy. He is understanding, flirty without being creepy, and super cute. His character's charisma is certainly contagious which will definitely leave a smile on your face as you're reading.

An End to Remember

  • The ending came too fast! Also, it felt a bit too abrupt but no less realistic. However, the direction in which the ending headed was perfectly believable.
  • Despite the ending being too abrupt, it didn't turn out to be the 24/7 romance you would expect. It wasn't about the romance at all, but more about Bree's development and her going into the unknown all by herself. That is most definitely not something she would have done in the beginning of the book. Jen Malone could very well give us a sequel (please!) as I believe she left it open for a new chapter in Bree's life that I definitely would love to explore.
im going on an adventure flinch GIF

Overall

Wanderlost by Jen Malone is a gorgeous trip into the unknown with a character who wants anything to just stay at home. Malone places the perfect amount of humor, travel, and romance to create a beautiful read for those suffering from wanderlust.


Top Ten Tuesday

10 Books from My Favorite Genre | Fantasy

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Calculating all those end of the year statistics last year really opened my eyes on some things. Like how my two favorite genres, the books I tend to pick up most, are fantasy and contemporary. And here I always say how I need to read more fantasy but the numbers showed that both genres were close to even last year. Since I had a blast putting this list together, I may do a part 2 for the contemporary genre as well.


I was on the fence of what kind of books to showcase in my favorite genre. So I ended up sharing 5 of my favorites that I don't mention too often and 5 upcoming releases that I am so excited for. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is: 10 Books From Your Favorite Genre:

5 Fantasy Favorites


Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen: My favorite book of the last year was no contest. Hands down, Reign the Earth was such a beautiful, inspiring, empowering fantasy like I've never read before. It was fantastic and if the publisher wants to give us 10 more in the series, I would not be opposed.

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman: A retelling of Alexander the Great before he was great, yes please. This series concluded last year and it was such a magnificent ride. If you're into fantasy with a tiny amount of magic, this is your book.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: I rarely talk about this one since it always seems like someone is talking about this one. It's a hyped series but all that hype is well-deserved. The first book starts off as a Beauty and the Beast retelling that quickly becomes a well-structured fantasy that is sure to pull at your heartstrings.


Reawakened by Colleen Houck: I'm still peeved over how the series ended but the first two books were amazing. Reawakened follows Lily as she discovers Amon sleeping in an artifact crate in a history museum. He claims to be an ancient Egyptian Prince who awakes every thousand years and must be reunited with his brothers before the world is overrun by darkness.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: I don't talk about this one nearly enough. Another hyped series that is so worth it. An amazing cast of characters, phenomenal heist plot, and Bardugo's writing will make people who don't read fantasy, love the genre.

5 Upcoming Fantasy Releases


Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson (10/20/19): In this retelling of the Minotaur, several teens journey into a maze to defeat the monster-- all for television fun. Ariadne, the host, has fallen for one of the contestants who tries to persuade her into helping him kill the monster. Yet, killing the monster would endanger her family's television empire. Only the gods know what she'll do.

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh (10/8/19): Yes, Renee Ahdieh is bringing vampires back into the YA limelight. And I'm so ready for it!

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett (9/3/19): It's been Theodora's dream to embark on a journey with her treasure hunter dad but when his right hand man shows up on her doorstep without him, Theodora must journey with him instead. In hopes on shedding some light on her father's whereabouts, they follow his latest quest, hunting down a magical ring that belonged to Dracula himself.


Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (7/9/19): A girl poses as a boy to compete for the imperial tailor position. She must do the impossible and create three magical dresses, sewn from the sun, the moon, and the stars. This one is marketed as Mulan meets Project Runway and I am so here for all that!

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon (10/29/19): The king is dying—and Kammani’s sister is one of the few who were chosen to die with the king to serve him in the afterlife. Kammani, a healer, vows not to let the king die in order to save her sister from such a fate.

What is your favorite genre?